Eggplant FAIL. But sauce win!


By Ezra Klein

“It looks like Dresden,” wrote one wag on Twitter. But it wasn’t Dresden. It was last night’s eggplant. And it was such a fail.

The recipe was gorgeous. I don’t have the cookbook handy, but the eggplant was a play on Nobu’s miso cod: it was brushed in a glaze of sake, mirin, soy, miso, honey, and lemon. I didn’t have a lemon, and added some sriracha and freshly grated ginger. But I made too much. I had a lot of eggplant, and I wanted to glaze some tofu, too. That meant the oven would be too full for broiling. So I cranked it up to 500 degrees and waited.

I waited too long, obviously. More to the point, when I checked on it, I only checked the tofu and eggplant on the top rack. Five minutes later, I smelled burning. The eggplant on the bottom rack had — of course — been cooking quite a bit faster. Hence the carnage above. Happily, the tofu and eggplant on the top rack were doing fine, so dinner wasn’t a total bust. And the recipe wasn’t itself a fail: the glaze was delicious. It’s definitely entering rotation. Here’s how you make it:

3/4 cup sake

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup mirin

1/2 cup soy sauce

3 tablespoons miso

About a tablespoon of grated ginger

About a tablespoon of sriracha.

Combine in a pot and reduce down by about half. You can use it as a glaze, or you can toss it with a stir fry. Or hell, just drink it. Bathe in it. I’d also add a couple whole black peppercorns to the enterprise.

4 responses to “Eggplant FAIL. But sauce win!

  1. still sounds yummy. im going to try

  2. If you’re single, find yourself a nice Turkish girl and your eggplant woes will be over.

  3. oy…..broiled and burnt honey on the baking sheet.
    carpal tunnel syndrome waiting to happen.
    this is why i dont cook.

    i would rather do water colors that last for a century, and run cold water on the sable brushes…a little pool of cerulean blue, like a watery vortex, down the drain… and that’s that….than do battle with a baking pan, encrusted with burnt honey.
    by the end of that adventure, i would have burns on my knuckles from the oven…scorched honey crusts on my dish towels, scratchmarks on the porcelain sink…
    as well as personal injuries… a good likelihood that i might have sustained a knife injury with the eggplant …certainly would have inflicted some pain with the grater and hand of ginger!
    for some, cooking is a labor of love…for me, it is a form of self-mutilation, costly mistakes and fatigue,
    i know my baking pan would have ended up in the recycle bin.
    i would mutter to myself, “remind me never to try this again. what was i thinking?”

    i would rather mix my purples and violets, and paint an immortal eggplant, than cook one.
    but bless you for your hard work, determination and good efforts!
    bon appetit! i know it will be perfect next time!!

  4. This sauce is definitely a winner!

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